France National OT News

News from France, September 2011

The II ASSISSES NATIONALES (OT CONFERENCES NATIONAL FORUM) will be held the next 24th and 25th of November. The subject chosen for the second edition of this event is Research in Occupational Therapy: a process into practice.

The reason why this topic has been chosen is the French increasing need of OT as a profession to be based on the evidence in a scientific way, in order to convince of the value and benefits of our profession. The aim of the congress will be as well to increase and make OTs be conscious of the importance of using scientific standards of practice in order to be efficient and valuable. We will have the participation of speakers coming from Canada, Switzerland and the UK.

November is also the month when the 50th anniversary of our National Association will be celebrated, taking advantage of the National Forum just explained above. The preparation of these two events is already being carried out.

Quite similarly to COTEC’s evolution, ANFE is starting to have an increased responsibility. Proposals and joint work with health related national institution is becoming constant. Because of this positive situation, there’s a feeling on many association members of not being able to cope anymore as a volunteering body, due to the hardwork required.

One of the national health campaigns, ANFE is engaged in is the Alzheimer Disease Plan, which was implemented a few years ago by the Health Minister. There are nowadays 850 thousand people suffering from AD and it is expected that by 2050 this amount wil have increased by 4. To support OT’s work regarding this disease, Maud Graph’s (Deutch OT) EBP approach has been taken as a model. Many contacts have been directly made with her.

The call to a professional consultation body has been made. In the upcoming season, its analysis with, hopefully, an alternative organization proposal will be given. Thus the structure of ANFE is likely to change quite a lot towards a more professional wise one.

A couple of books made by French occupational therapist have been published and are being sold by the association. The number of documents created is continuous, which shows as well, a good evolution of OT in France.

To conclude, the new procedure to become a recognized OT in France has been updated. An English and Spanish version can be found in both COTEC and ANFE’s websites. An important lack of OT practitioners still exists. We invite all our European colleagues who would be interested in working in France to have a look to this new procedure!

News from France, September 2010

From the end of 2009 till the summer holidays of 2010 French Occupational Therapy has experienced a very important incidence as a health science profession in the country. Through a hard work from its national association members, our profession is now a bit more recognized  by some relevant national institutions and health programs.

One of these achievements has been the final elaboration, after 2 hard-working years, of a whole Summary of the Profession, by which official and qualitative standards of practice have been recognized and approved by the Haut Conseil de Professions Paramedicales (Allied Health Professionals Council). Occupational Therapy has been the second discipline in completing this demand. Like this, the profession’s competencies and technical skills are guaranteed and differentiated from other related professions.

Besides this, we need to mention that the elaboration of a new program by the OT High schools has recently been completed and approved by   the Health minister. The basis of these structural adaptations has been established taking into account the new Summary of the profession, explained above and of course the recent European common standards established by the Bologna program.

Furthermore,  the consolidation of a national health program started a couple of years ago, the Alzheimer Plan, has contributed to make  Occupational Therapy  be more recognized as a profession because of its proved contributions to the treatment and the management of this condition. We could say that OT is one of the main health professions leading this program.

In addition, a new national account on the management of adult stroke care by the French Higher Health Authorities, has either considered Occupational Therapy’s function as really necessary, advantageous and beneficial.

Besides these topics, it’s relevant to explain the important lack of qualified professionals in the country while on the other hand, there’s an increasing professional demand in every background, against which ANFE is preparing special action to try to promote the arrival of European OT practitioners.